Whenever you overhear a conversation around campus or walk by a dorm building on almost any day of the week, you are most likely going to overhear something music related. Whether it is a conversation about music, a concert that just happened or you actually hear someone else’s music playing, it is almost impossible to avoid music. Especially on a college campus, and even more so when that college is in Burlington, Vermont. For some reason, Burlington has become a hub for the music lovers and the musically inclined to come and enjoy the things they love. There are record and music shops on every corner, poster salesmen in every lobby and up-and-coming artists trying to get their name out there in every restaurant, pub and bar in site. Living in an area such as this, it is hard not to find yourself focusing on music more in your everyday life.
This made me curious about what music people are looking for and what effect music has on the way you live you life, namely, who you choose to surround yourself with. I reached out to my social networks and used my own voice to get some answers that helped to shed some light on why music is one of the hot topics and why it is not going anywhere.
When asked what artist or musical group people wanted to see come to Burlington, and how much they would spend on a ticket, they answers were pretty diverse. Miley Cyrus, Snoop Lion, Lorde and Iron and Wine.
These performers are in demand in Burlington, Vermont. From left to right, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Lion, Lorde and Iron and Wine.
Burlington is definitely a starting out point for many struggling musicians and artists. So, in addition to knowing which performers people wanted to see, I also found how how much they were willing to spend on a ticket to their show. The prices ranged from about $25-$150. This seemed fairly reasonable but are these people saying they are willing to spend that much or when it comes down to it will they not be at that show?
Another aspect of music that I find intriguing is the effect of music on friendships. Many times, in a group of friends, they will all have similar musical taste. I know that this was definitely the case in my high school. I have notice a much smaller appearance of this trend in college but I wanted other peoples opinions. So I interviewed two of the responders to my previous questions.
Katie McKenny is a sophomore Education and English double major here at St. Michael’s College. When asked “Do you think that people are drawn together and thereby create friend groups based on similar musical taste?” She said, “Yes, but I don’t think it is a defining part of every friendship. People can have different tastes in music and still be friends. It strengthens that bond when they can share any interest, including music.”
Another interviewee gave some insight about why music is such an important part of peoples lives. Brie Stephen, a resident of Rutland, Vermont, when asked why music is such a big topic in the lives of so many people, said, “Because music is the common thread between all language. With music you can communicate even if you dont speak the same language.”
This really explains my observation about friend groups listening to similar music. It is the common thread that ties them together. In addition to talking to people and getting other opinions, following the local music venues such as Higher Ground and local music groups of Facebook, really gave me new insight into what Burlington, Vermont and friendship in general are all about.
With the help of Erin Woodman, I have a much better idea about the music scene both here at Saint Michael’s College and around Burlington. Erin told me about her love of the band “We The Kings”. This was interesting to me because I also used to really enjoy their music and they seemed to lose a following when I was in high school so it was cool for me to know that they are actually still pretty big. Apparently there is even a group of people here at Saint Michael’s College that meet up once in awhile to listen to their music “in an effort to keep them relevant to our age group”.
Erin Woodman, 20, a sophomore here at Saint Michael’s College, has been listening to their music since she was pretty young. “I remember when they were much bigger than they are now, those were the days!” she says. Erin told me all about the Burlington music scene and how it is the job or concert venues to bring in the acts that will bring in the money. It is their job to bring in who everyone is going to pay to see.
When I asked her how much she was willing to pay for a ticket to We The Kings, she said she would pay up to $50 . This seems like it would be a lucrative concert if people are willing to pay that much for one ticket, so why haven’t they come to Burlington Vermont since 2009? Erin says, “Because the interest is only there for a smaller and smaller number of people”.
“I made lots of friends because of our love of similar music. I wish it was still that easy.”
What if it is? Looks like I have some more research to do!